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Album Review: Wilco “Ode To Joy”

on October 3, 2019

Wilco fanatics rejoice!

The Chicago-based group is releasing their highly-anticipated 11th album, Ode to Joy. The album fittingly features 11 tracks—including previously-released single, “Love is Everywhere (Beware)” and will be accompanied by an international tour.

Aptly-named “Ode to Joy,” the album indeed inspires celebration. Its release marks the end of a three year hiatus—the longest the alt-rock icons have gone without releasing music since the inception of Wilco. But while their absence hasn’t diminished their ardent following, it has given rise to skepticism. With no shortage of alternative-rock groups to compete with, and a legacy to uphold, one may wonder if Wilco’s newest release holds as substantial an impact as previous works.  

Wilco is a pinnacle of alternative-rock, and time apart has not changed what the band does well.  Their songs echo the familiar melancholy of “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot,” and “One and a Half Stars,” in particular, emphasizes the nostalgia, dreaminess and misery commonly found within Jeff Tweedy’s lyrics. Their notable dreariness has not cheapened in effect, nor have their musical capabilities, as evidenced by the experiential “We Were Lucky.”

Wilco earned their place with good reason. Sorrowful songwriting and moodiness will never go out of style.



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